The Low-Down on the Far-Out

Full Moon in Aquarius, August 3, 2020

Chart for the Full Moon in Aquarius
Chart for the Full Moon in Aquarius

Full Moon in Aquarius
You, Me, and All of Us

I've read the end of the book. We're going to be okay. There are some things we're going to have to go through before we get there, but we have each other.
~ Dr. Bertice Berry

Aug.03 – FULL MOON in AQUARIUS (11:45 of Aquarius)

When we first learn about Aquarius, we usually associate it with qualities like individuality, uniqueness, eccentricity and rebelliousness. In other words, anything but stability, constancy and consistency.

As we learn more about astrology, most of us are a bit shocked and puzzled to learn that Aquarius is actually a Fixed sign – a modality known for its love of stability, constancy and consistency. And to top it off, the traditional ruler of Aquarius is Saturn, a planet known for its love of convention, conformity and the status quo.

Polyhedron

So, how do we square that circle—or maybe that's a polyhedron??

Like a polyhedron, the complexity of Aquarius is extensive and has a lot to do with what it really means to be a rebel, unconventional, unique and free.

The truth is that being truly oneself doesn't always need to polarize to what is conventional. Polarizing to what is is one way we can start to extract ourselves from the pigeon hole that is assigned to us by our society, culture, family, etc. But the value of polarization is mostly as a means to an end – an initial stage in the individuation process.

The resilience of a deeper sense of individuality is found in knowing what your own feelings, opinions and understanding are. It comes from the inner strength to resist simply being swayed by the prevailing winds around you, and instead responding from your inner place of authenticity.

The trick is that this can look and feel a lot like polarizing to the norm. It takes time to cultivate the self-awareness, self-acceptance and tenacity, as well as open-mindedness, to tell the difference. It's not just a question of determining your opinion about a situation, and then pushing a button inside yourself to have that same reaction when a similar situation arises. You might have a different perspective about it this time!

Life is organic, fluid and constantly in flux. Who we are is also constantly changing, and being shaped and impacted by what goes on around us. So, in the archetypal sequence of signs, Capricorn (the sign before Aquarius) has rules that only work for so long. Despite being a necessary part of who we are and how we fit into the world around us, circumstances change and Capricorn's structures, rules and expectations need to change with them.

Eventually what is becomes what was, and we're challenged to move beyond it into what will be. (Aquarius is associated with the future.) But if we get stuck in merely following the same-old-same-old rules and being what others expected of us, then we're in danger of becoming little more than a echo of our surroundings.

At some point, to some extent, if we are to continue growing – we need to break out of that Capricorn mold to find out who we are apart from what our environment tells us we are. And so, like a bird being birthed out of its shell, our first job is to separate from that environment to become a separate entity.

But then what? Then, our job is to grow into who we are, into the potential we were born with. It's not easy, and since we're becoming a unique being, instruction manuals will only guide us so far. It's a process that we co-create with the world around us as we go.

Welcome to Aquarius.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
~ George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

But wait—that's not all! In Capricorn, we are part of a system that is so finely tuned that it runs virtually by itself. In Aquarius, we become part of a collective of individuals, and all of us are independent, unique and separate, yet we are connected through whatever common ground we share.

In Capricorn, we are moving parts in a machine—which isn't necessarily bad. Society needs an effective system in order to function as intended, and the members of that system must play their part in order to keep the system running. Without it, we would be squirrelled away in our respective caves, fending for ourselves, rather than working together toward a common goal.

Compare that to Aquarius, where we are a group of individuals that share something in common – an interest or an ideal, for instance. When you break out of that Capricorn shell, what you find is you're among a bunch of others who are more or less similar to you.

Then what?? Do you just follow along with this new collective? At some point, somebody needs to be able to think outside the box so that there is a vision of what the group can become, not simply maintain what it is.

So, there is a need to be able to both function as part of a group and have a reasonably solid sense of who you are as an individual. Every effective group contains a flow of energy that all members participate in, respond to and are impacted by. So it becomes important to develop a sense of who you are separate from the group, in order to be an beneficial member of that group.

Paradoxical? Perhaps. Surprising, ironic and puzzling, for sure. Sounds about right for Aquarius.

So, to sum it up – your job in Aquarius is to become a unique, independent individual so that you can be a functioning part of a larger collective. All clear now? ;-)

Seriously though – a group of mature individuals, who continue to be a work in progress, can accomplish amazing things that will elude a group of people who are mostly focused on following instructions and living up to someone else's expectations.

Unique individuals have the ability to think for themselves and choose which directions they will follow. They are the ingredient in a group that enables it to keep growing, evolving and developing. Capricorn provides the structure that holds it together, while Aquarius provides the diversity and potential to enable it to change – ideally without destroying it in the process. And if that's not possible, then Aquarius will provide the vision of how to rebuild a better collective from the wreckage.

There's no value judgment in this. Both factors are essential for the effective functioning of society. You just can't swap out one for the other. There needs to be a balance.

So again, welcome to Aquarius.

A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
~ Antoine de Saint-Exuper

This Full Moon in Aquarius is here to point the way to the next step – and it's a lively one! Let's start with Uranus, considered by many to be the modern ruler of Aquarius.

T-square - Full Moon and Uranus

Uranus forms a tight T-square aspect pattern with the Sun and Moon. Uranus squares the Sun-Moon opposition (a.k.a. the Full Moon) and sets up a challenging and demanding, yet motivating conflict of interest. Uranus is associated with disruption, interference, and the unexpected (often unwelcome). So, Uranus is a wake-up call that can feel like a smack upside the head by the Universe.

It can also feel like an earthquake that abruptly changes your direction as you stroll innocently along your path, which suddenly is no longer smooth and straight but is now full of twists and rocks and potholes. So, for starters, this may be a time when your plans go a bit sideways and your priorities suddenly shift in order to adjust to changing circumstances and events.

At its heart, this is more than just your garden variety annoyance that creates a blip on your radar. This is at some level a blinking red light, warning that there's something new here, something to be noticed, something to learn, something to become aware of in a different kind of way. It might be directly related to the situation you're dealing with, or it might be related to something that comes up in you in response to that situation.

An example might be the way your life has become disrupted and disheveled due to COVID-19. Don't get me wrong – the disruption is real, and it's very important that you do what you need to do to stay safe. Your resulting frustration and hardship are also real – perhaps having lost employment or a safe environment, or having to unlearn the old ways of doing things and relearn new habits to protect yourself and others (e.g. mask, handwashing, social distancing).

That said, there may be deeper personal issues coming up that are triggered by the situation but are not caused by it, as such. For instance, feeling abandoned by the Capricornian structures that you hoped would support you in a crisis, and worrying if you can be innovative enough to get through these tough times. Or, feeling lost in a hailstorm of changing information, opinions, conspiracy theories, suspicion, and chaotic disagreement about the "real truth" of COVID-19, and overwhelmed trying to figure out what to believe, what to dismiss, and how to proceed safely.

It helps to remember that we're still learning about this coronavirus. It's barely 8 months old in our awareness of it, and it's never interacted with our biological systems before. So, both we and COVID are learning something new every day about how best to survive and/or co-exist. Confusing and inconsistent information is unavoidable in this kind of situation. And if you demand that the medical authorities have to know everything about it "yesterday" in order to be trustworthy, then you're probably going to be suspicious of what is genuinely the latest reliable knowledge – which will change yet again as we learn more about its effects.

So, change, upheaval and chaos are going to be the norm to one extent or another for a while yet. It can help to accept that, for the time being, very little is certain. And yet, that doesn't mean we know nothing. We can still draw on past knowledge of pandemics and observe the results of best known practices to minimize the spread, like wearing a mask in public.

Masks do have some benefit for the wearer, but mostly it helps to protect those around us if we have it and don't know it. Some evidence suggests that up to 80% of those testing positive are either asymptomatic or may be pre-symptomatic, so wearing a mask—even if you think you don't have it—is a crucial part of the best-known prevention strategy.

Healing your wounds will hurt, so cry. Cry your pretty little heart out until you have nothing left to shed, that's how beauty is grown; through the darkest of our days we become the light.
~ Nikki Rowe

Another thing to be aware of is that Uranus is breaking open the outer shell that encases a deeper reality, although we don't necessarily know yet what that is. When an egg shows signs of hatching, we might not know what kind of bird is being born ...but we'll soon enough find out.

On a personal level, you might be challenged in areas of your life that you took for granted and just assumed would remain the same. Yet, now it might be showing signs of change, obstacles, interruption or upset. The situation itself might be the primary focus, but there is also something inside you that is being yanked out of complacency, jerking you awake, and alerting you to a new way of seeing the world around you and your place within it.

Wedge - Sun, Moon, Chiron

One part of that could be the need for healing—or perhaps a pattern where you inflict wounding on yourself or others without realizing it. The chart shows this in the form of a Wedge aspect pattern with Chiron to the Sun-Moon opposition. This Wedge configuration has Chiron sextile the Moon (60°) and trine the Sun (120°). It suggests there may be a constructive opportunity to deflect from or resolve the tension of the opposition. In this case, that's through Chiron – the planet associated with woundedness, and since Chiron is in Aries, especially woundedness around the courage to act based on authentic inner impulses.

So, it may help to focus on what blocks you from feeling brave enough to do what you need to take care of yourself—on all levels, not just about viruses. What gets in the way of feeling that it's okay to be who you are? Is there a part of you that feels alone, neglected or rejected? And what do you need to feel more secure in that part of you?

There are probably things you can do or people you can reach out to that will help comfort or inspire or rejuvenate you, although the effects will be a lot more effective if you can identify what it is inside of you that needs tending to. Knowing what you need, and taking the first step to give that to yourself, can increase your chance of getting it.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy... All you need is love
~ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, All You Need Is Love

Venus is tightly conjunct the North Lunar Node. All you need is love! Both are in Gemini, so this is the kind of love that's not afraid to communicate and express what you think and feel. On the other hand, Venus is still in a lingering orb of her square to Neptune (exact Jul.27), so there might be some past disappointment or sadness to be discussed that can clear the air.

Hard Wedge - Venus, Sun, Moon

Venus is also setting up a side conversation of her own with the Sun and Moon in the form of an aspect figure I call a Hard Wedge. Venus has a sesquiquadrate aspect to the Moon (135°) and a semisquare to the Sun (45°), both aspects being similar to the tense square aspects.

Part of the struggle suggested by this aspect pattern may be a conflict between your desire to be independent and self-sufficient, versus your need to still find social connection and camaraderie with close friends or loved ones. It might also indicate some struggles with finances or resources that interfere with the ways you would like to express and exercise your unique sense of self.

Mini-Square - Venus, Uranus, Sun

Venus also forms what I call a Mini-Square pattern with the Sun and Uranus, further emphasizing a conflict between your struggle for individuality and your need to unite with others of like mind. You might find there isn't as much "like-mindedness" as you thought there would be. On the other hand, it can be an opportunity for lively debate and discussion with people you like and feel comfortable with.

So, love is the way through, but it might be a bit hard to find or not look or feel quite like you thought it would. That's no reason to throw it away, but it will take some effort and self-awareness to get the most out of what is available.

There is a tendency right now to find ways to be right. Love is always right.
~ Dr. Bertice Berry

Mercury opposite Saturn

The chart has an exact opposition between Mercury and Saturn, both at 27° of Cancer and Capricorn, respectively. In the face of all the chaos, upheaval, confusion and contradiction, the need for stable, solid, reliable information and clear knowledge of what the *bleep* is going on, there is a strong desire for concise conclusions and absolute knowledge that is so correct it can't be questioned.

Unfortunately, with all the changeability there isn't such a thing right now, but that won't necessarily stop our hunger for it. Depending on how much your well-being and peace of mind are relying on that stability, you might feel some depression, discontent or impatience with the world that expresses itself as being argumentative, judgmental or demanding. On the other hand, Mercury-Saturn can be excellent allies when you're trying to make sense of the turmoil and how to tell fact from fiction.

Quindecile aspects

What's intriguing about Mercury-Saturn is that they both are wired into the Sun-Moon opposition through a somewhat rare aspect. The Moon is quindecile Mercury (165°) and the Sun is quindecile Saturn. This aspect has a reputation for being obsessive or driven, affecting the energy of the planets involved.

So, Moon/Aquarius quindecile Mercury/Cancer could manifest as the vision of the Collective of Humanity being a massive family in all its bonded connectedness—or feeling the clash of conflicts between members who compete for a bigger share of the love, acceptance and esteem within that family.

The Sun/Leo quindecile Saturn/Capricorn is an interesting mix, since both planets are in their sign of rulership and therefore very strong, but in an aspect relationship that is edgy and a bit obsessive. At its best, there could be a driven ambition to solidify a feeling of well-being in a way that can't be questioned or defeated.

Sounds wonderful, but the absolutism embedded in this dynamic could also mask flaws and problems that are then allowed to fester. The result might be reinforced strength—or rigidity that could shatter when confronted.

It's a curious combination of energies. On one hand, the Sun-Moon axis urges us to strive for greater individuality and non-conformity, and to avoid falling in-line with arbitrary expectations. On the other hand, Mercury and Saturn have a strong drive to amplify stability and certainty which can maximize security, power and authority.

Two Wedge aspect patterns

The end result may be swayed by Neptune and Chiron, which form Wedge aspect patterns to the Mercury-Saturn and Sun-Moon, respectively. Neptune's ambiguity is in a position to remind Mercury and Saturn that the most resilient strength comes from flexibility, not rigidity. And Chiron can remind the Sun and Moon that self-esteem and detachment don't exempt us from being vulnerable or fallible, and that each moment and challenge must be dealt with as it comes.

Sun-Moon aligned with Neptune's Nodes

In fact, the Sun and Moon also have help from Neptune, but indirectly. The Sun and Moon are tightly aligned with the Planetary Nodes of Neptune. Yes, nodes aren't just for the Moon – they mark where any planet's orbit crosses the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun). And the slower the planet, the slower its nodes move, so the nodes of Neptune are pretty stable in their position: 11-12 degrees of Leo (North) and Aquarius (South).

So there is a Neptunian flavour to this Full Moon in Aquarius. This can increase the flexibility—or make circumstances a bit slippery and changeable. It may amplify a sense of idealism, love and higher purpose—although it could also make it harder to tell the sublime from the slimy. The Mercury-Saturn opposition may help somewhat by making it easier to conduct a "smell test" using logic, research with reliable sources, and common sense.

It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
~ Alfred Adler

And finally, Mars has become so used to being in the spotlight (after being in square aspect to all 3 eclipses in June and July) that he just couldn't stand to be left out. Mars has been a very active player in the 2020 drama since the beginning of this year, including the way COVID-19 exploded globally back in March.

Mars is now in his retrograde shadow (meaning he's in the span of the zodiac that he will go through 3 times – once direct, then retrograde, and direct again). Mars is in the beginning stages of his retrograde period (Sep.09 to Nov.13), and being extra strong in his own sign of Aries you know that whatever he's doing, he's not messing around.

Mars sqr Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto

And so, it should be no surprise that Mars intends to remain a key player for the rest of the year. (I've discussed this in detail below.) Mars will go through 3 passes of tense yet dynamic square aspects (90°) to the Capricorn consortium – Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto – during Mars' retrograde cycle. And so, at the Full Moon in Aquarius, Mars is just hours away from his first contact with these Big Boys – specifically Mars square Jupiter, both at 19 degrees of Aries/Capricorn.

As with everything else in the Full Moon chart, the Mars-Jupiter square brings a mixed blessing of potential energies. At its worst, emotional reactions (Mars) can become amplified and blown out of proportion (Jupiter) rather easily. Everyone seems to be on edge and/or on overload these days, and Mars square Jupiter isn't likely to calm that down much. Snap judgments could also be common under this transit.

On the other hand, this combination of energies may also light a fire under your backside and motivate you to take decisive action based on your principles, beliefs and morals. If you've been feeling lost in a malaise of discouragement or pessimism, this may be a time when you discover something that you can do to break through that melancholy. Although, if you ignore the opportunity to shift that energy by taking action, it might double-down into cynicism or feeling victimized or helpless.

To avoid this trap, remind yourself that even if the challenges and problems seem impossibly huge, you don't have to solve them all at once. You don't even have to solve them completely at all, but it is important for your mental, emotional and spiritual health that you do something.

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Even if it feels like your reaction must be at least as enormous as the problem appears to be, it's better to choose your response wisely and not erratically or recklessly. Think about what's truly important to you, what the biggest priority is. Put another way: if you only had the energy, resources or opportunity to take one step or to do one thing, what would it be? What can you do that would be most closely aligned with your highest principles, and which is also practical and realistic?

And if you're too furious, upset or anguished to think about what is practical or realistic, then maybe that's what you need to tend to first. Find ways to vent some of that energy in safe ways. Pound a pillow, work out, go jogging, clean out your closets – anything that can channel those volatile feelings enough that you can then access your higher mind and your best intentions.

It may help to remember that living up to your highest principles is something that evolves one step, one fight, one challenge at a time. Don't waste energy berating yourself for not doing it perfectly all at once. Just stay focused on what your integrity's priority is—and then figure out your next step, your next intention, your next action. One at a time.

Together, we form a necessary paradox; not a senseless contradiction.
~ Criss Jami, Healology

There's a lot of intense, explosive energy flying around at the Full Moon in Aquarius, from the Uranus T-square to the Mars-Jupiter square, to the Mercury-Saturn opposition, to the Venus-Node sesquiquadrate to the Moon. This isn't likely to be an easy time—let's face it, 2020 isn't likely to be easy, period!—but there is a lot of energy which can be put to use in constructive, useful and evolutionary ways.

Unfortunately, 2020 isn't likely to get much easier, but it will change and evolve. It won't always feel like this. The Aquarius Moon challenges you to find a vision of who you want to be as you go through it all year and who you want to be a year from now. And it encourages all of us to find a collective vision of what we all can be together. Where is your/our greatest potential for healing—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? And what is the one thing you/we can do right now that will move you/us one step closer to that?

There you go! You can get through this. We will get through this. You don't have to lose yourself in the uproar. Neither do we collectively have to shatter into bits in the winds of change. When we're caught in a cyclone, the safest place is in the centre. So, step back for a moment, find your centre and keep coming back to it. Then help the next person do the same, in their own unique way.

Above all, stay safe. Stay sane. Stay awesome. And always remember – the world needs you.

Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.
~ Robin Sharma

Day to Day Transits for the Next 2 Weeks

Aug.03 – Mercury opposite Saturn (27:37 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Aug.04 in AU)

The time has come to face facts. There may be a reality in your life that you've been avoiding, and you need to accept and deal with it. Or, you might have to conform to the expectations of others because there's no other way around it. Or, you could find that your ability to communicate, say what you want to say, or get your point across is harder for a few days. This will pass, but there may be concrete reasons why this might not be the best time to communicate whatever is on your mind. You might feel a bit as if you're being tested, and in some way this could be true. This transit may bring an opportunity to see how much you really know and how skilled you are at using that knowledge. On the other hand, this could be a time when hard work and preparation that you've done for several months could pay off. You may be able to progress to the next step in a project, or to make plans in an organised, concrete and responsible way. For a few days, taking a structured, methodical or factual approach to whatever you're doing may produce the best results.

Aug.04.2020-Jan.23.2021 – Mars square Jupiter, Saturn, Pluto (Aries/Capricorn)

August begins a tumultuous yet stimulating 5-month period of concentrated energy, courtesy of Mars in Aries in a square aspect (90°) to Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. Mars makes 3 passes to each of these Capricorn planets, due to Mars' Retrograde cycle throughout that time. So far, the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto (in orb from Dec.2018 to Mar.2021) has seen extremely intense events, from a spike in political disorder to a deadly pandemic worldwide. And we're only half-way through it.

DATETRANSITDD:MM SN/SN
Jun.30Jupiter cnj Pluto24:06 CP
Aug.04Mars sqr Jupiter19:44 AR/CP
Aug.13Mars sqr Pluto23:05 AR/CP
Aug.24Mars sqr Saturn26:19 AR/CP
Sep.09Mars goes Retrograde28:08 AR
Sep.29Mars sqr Saturn25:20 AR/CP
Oct.09Mars sqr Pluto22:29 AR/CP
Oct.19Mars sqr Jupiter19:26 AR/CP
Nov.12Jupiter cnj Pluto22:51 AR/CP
Nov.13Mars goes Direct15:13 AR
Dec.21Jupiter cnj Saturn00:00 AQ
Dec.23Mars sqr Pluto23:55 AR/CP
Jan.13Mars sqr Saturn03:04 TA/AQ
Jan.23Mars sqr Jupiter07:59 TA/AQ

The square aspect from Mars is likely to stir the various pots of upheaval and tension. For about 2 weeks before and after the exact aspects, we are likely to feel and witness a wide variety of effects, both inspiring and upsetting. On the upsetting side, we are likely to see a rise in actions and reactions, aggression and frustration, hostility and defensiveness, outrage and antagonism, and possibly their shadow side through resentment and passive aggression. However, this can also be a time of motivation, incentive, enthusiasm, courage, heroics, resolve, and standing up for what you believe in.

It is helpful to have a strategy to cope with the stress, and to work constructively with the energy increase. Have a list of things you can do to distract you when it all gets too hot to handle – from pounding a pillow to vent anger, to a cooling swim in a pool, to unplugging from computers and phones for a while to indulge in calming activities, like music, reading, or playing with your cat/dog (you get the idea).

At the same time, it will also help to make a list of things you can do to take action to support the causes and passions that move you. In other words, don't just blow a gasket in rage or work yourself up into an uncontained froth – choose something you can do that will actually support the creation of a better world. Join an organization, volunteer, attend an online course or webinar to learn more, or even just pick one small thing you can do in your neighbourhood, family or home environment. In short, find ways to empower yourself, even through small things—which can often be more effective than you realize.

Here are the dates of square aspects between Mars and Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto (Eastern Time Zone, DST adjusted). For up to 2 weeks before and after these dates, you are likely to see the energy inside you and around you rise, sometimes dramatically. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and to make the most of this potent energy.

Graph Mars square Jup, Sat, Plu
30° Graph of Mars square Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto – June 2020 to January 2021

Aug.04 – Mars square Jupiter (19:44 of Aries/Capricorn)

Under this transit your energy is more accessible, but this could be more problematic than helpful. On one hand, you have more enthusiasm and motivation available to take bold steps toward your goals. However, you might be forced to do this out of a sense of moral coercion, rather than freely choosing it. Or, your actions could be triggered by exasperated impulse more than by a sense of what is right for that moment. Impulses are likely to become easily amplified, but also more difficult to control. This includes anger, sexuality, aggression and assertiveness. Confidence could come across as arrogance. Courage might become reckless or brazen. If you find it difficult to bring out these qualities in yourself, they may come spurting out in a way that might be frightening or intimidating. But once your energy has emerged, you are in a better position to learn how to harness it, use it, work with it and summon it at will.

Aug.04 – Mercury enters Leo (until Aug.19)  (Aug.05 in ADT, NDT, UK, AU)

While Mercury struts through Leo, your creativity and self-expression are flying high! Your communication strives to express more than just facts or information – it wants to convey the dramatic energy that tells a story in larger-than-life proportions! How you perceive and experience life right now can be vivid, dramatic and fun, as you pick up more easily on the expressive and "feel-good" elements of what's happening around you. You may become very creative, inspired and motivated during this time. The downside is that it may also easier to indulge in a mindset that is self-serving, egotistical or overconfident. Your motives are likely to be noble, heroic and full of good intentions, but you could also become so in love with your vision of what's possible that you miss valid criticism or drawbacks. This is a time to enjoy the playful delights of sports, games, humor, fun and children.

Aug.05 – Venus conjunct North Lunar Node (28:13 of Gemini)  (Aug.06 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

Your love, beauty and joy are especially visible to others right now. You are likely to be at your most attractive – both in body and personality. You could become a magnet for what you desire today – just be careful what you ask for, since you might get it! What you attract to you might be material abundance, admiration and appreciation from others, or perhaps a sense of well-being that brings you into a more beautiful balance with those around you. This can also be a time when you begin a new relationship or social contact, or perhaps you begin a journey to make yourself or your world more beautiful, loving and kind. At worst, or if other stressful transits are also in effect, you might also have a tendency to fall into over-indulgence, empty glamour or compulsive craving.

Aug.07 – Venus enters Cancer (until Sep.06)  (Aug.08 in AU)

Your focus in relationships may shift for a while to family, loved ones and people in your support system. You may also find that your interactions with others takes on a quality that echoes the past, perhaps childhood, and you want to reach out to connect with others more than usual – or to avoid it if those echoes are not pleasant ones. You could be especially sensitive to getting your emotional needs met, or how others want their needs to be met. Interactions with others may bring up a deep need to belong and to connect and bond with others on a personal level. The need to feel secure and safe could come up in a variety of forms now – either directly as a feeling of vulnerability, or indirectly disguised as defensiveness or manipulation. This could also a time when you want to be somewhat protective and cautious in your handling of money, possessions and other resources, striving to conserve and cultivate these areas in order to nurture them for future growth.

Venus finally leaves Gemini after a 4-month stay (since Apr.03). The long time range was because Venus went Retrograde in Gemini from May.13 to Jun.25. Venus won't go Retrograde again until December 2021.

Aug.09 – Mercury trine Chiron (09:05 of Leo/Aries)  (Aug.10 in AU)

Your mental focus and communication now get an injection of healing energy. Cynicism and depression may soften now, as you become more receptive to a more optimistic viewpoint. If you have been caught up in escapism or "stinkin' thinkin'" (thinking you're more in control of your impulses than you really are), you may now find some relief and healing. Mental argument and critical "self-talk" can now find some reconciliation and acceptance that brings some peace of mind. You have increased ability to find the right words and understanding to help others with their problems. Compassion and empathy may be more accessible because you can identify your own experiences with what you see in others. You might also find someone who can give you good advice or support about your own problems – possibly a teacher or mentor – or you could become this to someone else.

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Aug.10 – Mercury square Uranus (10:40 of Leo/Taurus)

Flashes of insight can show you new clarity but you might not like the answers you get, since they could disturb your logical perception of what's what. You might get some news or learn come information that shakes you up in some way. This isn't necessarily bad, since this may be necessary to open your mind to something you've been resisting. There's a Higher Truth here that wants to be told (by you or to you), but the way it's phrased can make a big difference in the reaction. There is a risk of "shooting off your mouth before your brains are loaded," as the saying goes, and impulsive or reckless communication and ideas could create more problems than they solve. It will probably help to listen inside yourself first to discover what you really need to say, and then figure out how to say it in a way that doesn't cause unnecessary damage. Strive to shine a light of truth without blinding anyone with it.

Aug.13 – Mars square Pluto (23:05 of Aries/Capricorn)  (Aug.12 in HAST, AKDT)

This can be a volatile combination of energies, which can generate enormous stress and conflict, but can also motivate you go beyond your perceived limitations. The biggest dangers with this transit include obsessive control, violence in response to frustration, and natural reactions of anger being blown out of proportion into rage. However, if you are able to harness this energy and put it to productive use, it can fuel your ambitions and drive you to push past the barriers that are in your way (including your own discouragement or lethargy). There can be a fine line, though, between empowering yourself with determination and courage versus forcing the issue in a way that creates more problems than it solves. And there is a difference between being obsessively attached to the outcome versus discovering that you have more courage, strength and tenacity than you thought you did, when your back is against the wall. Sexual tension can be strong under this transit, so it is wise to use some good judgment about whether or how to act on that. Power struggles with others can become very intense, so strive to be clear in yourself about what you really want and how you can assert your interests without inflicting the emotional equivalent of nuclear war.

Aug.14-16 – Moon goes Out of Bounds (27:56 Gemini to 24:57 Cancer. Peaks on Aug.15 at 24N09 at 11:25 Cancer)  (Aug.15-17 in AU)   ("What does Out of Bounds mean?"   "What is Declination?")

The Moon goes Out of Bounds (OOB) by Declination, during which time your feelings and emotions may be a bit stronger than usual. You might feel a little separated from the world around you, and as a result you might feel a bit lonely or in need of some reassuring human contact. On the other hand, this detachment might be a welcome change if you're feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed by the energy around you and need some time out. Or, you may find it's time to go your own way a bit more, to seek your own company or search for a more supportive environment. Your creativity and imagination might be more willing to follow unusual ideas, whims and impulses.

A planet goes OOB when its declination is greater than 23:26 (23 degrees and 26 minutes), which is the maximum declination of the Sun, and the Sun defines the Bounds. In 2020, the Moon's maximum declination finally goes beyond the Bounds in March, for the first time since 2011, and will continue to go OOB until January 2030.

For now, the Moon's maximum declination increases very gradually each month, and only gets to 24:52 by December 2020 (compared to her maximum declination of 28:34, which she'll reach in 2025). So, in 2020 the Moon is only a little OOB and this energy might not be very noticeable until around September. On the other hand, the OOB periods can be a time when your emotional reactions may be somewhat more amplified than usual. In any case, if you have the Moon or other planets OOB in your natal chart, you might be more sensitive to this energy.

Aug.15 – Venus-Sun Greatest Elongation as Morning Star (04:03 to 07:10 of Cancer)   ("What's the Shadow?"  Read my articles about Retrograde Cycles.  Read my article about Venus Retrograde.)

Venus reaches her greatest elongation from the Sun approximately today (give or take a day or two), as the Morning Star. She is as far away from the Sun (from Earth's perspective) and as high in the pre-dawn sky, as she's going to get during this period. For several months before this time, she can be seen higher and brighter in the easter sky before dawn, but you'll have to get up pretty early to see her!

During this time, Venus energy is especially strong and clear. Love and pleasure take a higher priority. You may be drawn to people, places, things and activities that make you feel good, loving and lovable. Be careful that you don't overdo it with food, sex and other gratification. Remember that your body, your relationship, your credit card, etc, are going to have to deal with the consequences of whatever you do now. Use your best judgment.

Here are the key dates of this Venus cycle (for North American Eastern Time):

Aug.15 – Uranus Stationary Retrograde (10:41 of Taurus; Rx until Jan.14.2021)  (Aug.16 in AU)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

Uranus now appears to go backwards (retrograde) against the backdrop of the stars. This is often a turning point in situations involving issues of spontaneity, freedom, breaking free of old patterns, rebellion and expressing your personal uniqueness. It could feel a bit chaotic or erratic—or perhaps just spontaneous and exciting—for up to a week before and after this date. However, Uranus' ultimate agenda is to clear the way for your true spirit to manifest in your life. You may experience unexpected changes, flashes of insight, or disruption of established situations that aren't working well (which might include computers, Internet, mass media, groups, friends or future plans). This can be the awakening of a new perspective, to be brought into a clearer focus through open-mindedness and being willing to try new things. If you are going through major transits from Uranus to your natal chart, you are more likely to feel the energy of this station.

Aug.16 – Sun trine Mars (24:09 of Leo/Aries)  (Aug.17 in AU)

Your energy, purpose, vitality and health are likely to be strong and clear during this transit. Your sense of purpose is supported by your ability to assert yourself and take a stand for what you want and what you believe in. In general, this transit is a great time to take action, especially if you have prepared the way and have all your ducks in a row. If you've been waiting for a spurt of self-confidence or motivation, this transit could give you the push you need to move forward in your plans or goals. Strive to be spontaneous rather than impulsive, and confident rather than arrogant.

Aug.16 – Venus square Chiron (08:53 of Cancer/Aries)  (Aug.17 in UK, AU)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.

Aug.17 – Mercury trine Mars (24:21 of Leo/Aries)  (Aug.16 in HAST, AKDT, PDT, MDT)

It may be easy to find the courage to speak your mind and say what needs to be said under this transit. In fact, your ideas and words may come so quickly and easily that it's hard to stop them from tumbling out of your mouth before you've had a chance to evaluate the best way to say them. Your communication is likely to be direct, concise and right on the mark, even if it might also be a bit blunt or pointed. If you need to confront someone about a difficult situation, this transit can provide courage and clear words to help you do that – although perhaps not as good for a situation requiring a more delicate, sensitive touch. It is a time when you could potentially find the nerve to take risks, or to defend yourself if the need arises (especially verbally). Overall, this is a wonderful transit for anything involving direct communication (e.g., public speaking, writing, debating), as well as mental agility (e.g., generating ideas, finding solutions, making decisions).

Aug.17 – Sun conjunct Mercury Direct (25:09 of Leo)  (Aug.18 in AU)

MERCURY CAZIMI TIMES (0:17 orb)
PlaceZoneBeginsEnds
AmericasHSTAug.16, 09:38 PMAug.17, 10:37 AM
AKDTAug.17, 12:38 AMAug.17, 01:37 PM
PDTAug.17, 01:38 AMAug.17, 02:37 PM
MDTAug.17, 02:38 AMAug.17, 03:37 PM
CDTAug.17, 03:38 AMAug.17, 04:37 PM
EDTAug.17, 04:38 AMAug.17, 05:37 PM
ADTAug.17, 05:38 AMAug.17, 06:37 PM
NDTAug.17, 06:08 AMAug.17, 07:07 PM
UKBSTAug.17, 09:38 AMAug.17, 10:37 PM
AUAESTAug.17, 06:38 PMAug.18, 07:37 AM

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database.

On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

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The peak period of Mercury conjunct the Sun is when they are within 17 minutes of arc (or some say within 1 degree), which lasts roughly 14-20 hours when Mercury is direct, or 5-8 hours when retrograde. This is called being Cazimi, meaning "in the heart of the Sun." When any planet is Cazimi, it is said to be unusually strong – being in the eye of the storm, so to speak – and can potentially be used to great advantage (for better or worse).

In the case of Mercury, your perceptions, awareness, ideas, and ability to put your thoughts into words may have a strong impact, being unusually clear, focused or direct. It is recommended that you use wisdom and good judgment, since an extra sharp wit during this time could possibly have negative consequences, intended or not. Since Mercury is Retrograde, these increased Mercury qualities are likely to be especially intuitive or creative in nature than analytical or logical. Pay attention to your dreams, as they will probably reveal messages from your deep unconscious.

Aug.18 – Mercury sextile North Lunar Node (27:29 of Leo/Gemini)  (Aug.19 in AU)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

You may be more perceptive and observant than usual during this transit. You could find the right words to communicate a little easier, or you might simply find that things make a little more sense. It can be a good time to write that letter, ask that question, make that call, when you feel you are in focus to move forward. The only caution is to be careful not to focus on what you want so strongly that you can't see what's really there, or to try to force the situation to be what you want it to be.

Aug.18 – Venus sextile Uranus (10:41 of Cancer/Taurus)  (Aug.19 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

NEXT UPDATE:
FULL MOON IN ARIES
Available by October 1, 2020.

© 2020 Wendy Guy. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or used without the author's written permission. Astrology diagrams © Wendy Guy unless otherwise noted. OTHER CREDITS: Most or all of the quotes on this page were found at GoodReads.com. Illustration of Zodiac Sign by Natalia Hubbert, via 123rf.com. Sabian Symbol image: Spiral staircase in the Vatican, by Voicu Horatiu via Unsplash.com. Image of crocodile on bridge found on Facebook; original artist unknown. Diagram of polyhedron by Tom Ruen, public domain image via Wikicommons.


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